The world’s most incredible cookbook

At £395, Modernist Cuisine is the most spectacular cookbook the world has ever seen. Lifting the lid – literally – on the alchemy of the kitchen, it will transform the way we think about food forever, says John Walsh

Hamburger Cutaway

THE COOKING LAB

Hamburger Cutaway

You imagined that Jean Brillat-Saverin’s Le Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante was the classic work on the stuff we eat? You thought that Auguste Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine held most of the secrets of cooking food? You were under the impression that Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management was something special? You felt that the £100-a-throw Fat Duck Cookbook, with its fold-out pages and 95-ingredient recipes was as extravagant as food literature could get? Oh please.

Perhaps – can it be? – you haven’t yet heard about Modernist Cuisine? It’s the cookbook of the year, the decade, the new century, or at least that’s what the hype will have you believe, a five-volume, slip-cased cornucopia of words and pictures about modern cooking principles and food as you’ve never seen food before: 2,438 pages of its history, its fundamental essence, the chemistry of applying heat to meat and the physics of organism fusion, plus 300 original recipes from The Cooking Lab in Washington and copious instructions about mind-boggling kitchen techniques, appliances and laboratory transformations, all of it accompanied by 3,200 photographs and illustrations.

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